To the Hilt
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From the acclaimed master of mystery and suspense comes the story of a self-imposed outcast who must refresh his detection skills in order to save himself and his family.
police station, and anywhere else you care to. I’ll be fishing the Spey next week. I have guests Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Thursday and Friday I’ll be out on the moor with the guns ...” He outlined his plans. “James returns from sailing tomorrow. He’ll be staying on here. His wife will take the children back to school ... All clear, Jed?” “Yes, sir.” Jed and he discussed estate affairs for a while and I listened with half an ear and tried to imagine a good temporary home for Bede’s Death
thought abruptly. Mother. Ivan. Heart attack. I was supposed to be going to London. Or the moon. The worst thing I might feel, I considered, was nothing. Not the case. With fierce concentration, I could move all my fingers and all my toes. Anything more hurt too much for enthusiasm. Outraged muscles went into breath-stopping spasms to protect themselves. Wait. Lie still. I felt cold. Bloody stupid, being mugged on one’s own doorstep. Embarrassing. A helpless little old lady I was not, but a
don’t know your name.” “Hall. Connie Hall.” “Mrs. Hall. Please do tell me about the night Sir Ivan died.” “I was walking my little dog, you see, same as I always do before going to bed.” “Yes, of course,” I said, nodding. Reassured, she went on. “When I got back to the house-next door, that is, of course—there was Sir Ivan down in the road, and in his pajamas and robe, poor man, and frantic, there’s no other word for it. Frantic.” “Mrs. Hall,” I said intensely, “what was he frantic about?”
them off my chest into deeper, concealing water. Chris’s hand briefly squeezed my shoulder and I had only one more glimpse of his dark shape as he passed from the lit side of the bushes into the shadows. The farce continued. A large uniformed policeman told me to get out of the pond, and when I failed to obey he clicked a pair of handcuffs on my wrists and walked off, deaf to protests. It gradually appeared that a couple of people in the garden were neither uniformed police nor uniformed
silently while I was sitting on the edge of the bed, dressed in trousers and shirt, head hanging, feeling rotten. Of all the people I would have preferred not to see me like that, she would have been tops. “Go away,” I said, and she went, but the next person through the door was a nurse with a syringeful of relief. Around midmorning I had a visit from a Detective Inspector Vernon, whom I’d met, it transpired, in the garden. “Mrs. Benchmark said you were dressed,” he remarked, not shaking